Saturday, 31 March 2012

DSBS - Difficult Second Blogpost Syndrome

I got a phenomenal response to my first ever blog post about the London riots;
  • It was linked to by the Guardian's website resulting in over 30,000 people visiting my blog, leaving hundreds of (mainly positive) comments; 
  • this led to an abridged (and correctly punctuated) version being printed as a double page spread in the Guardian's G2 supplement. (I bought a TV with the money that I was paid, which ironically means that I too got a flatscreen out of the riots). 
  • This then led to me being interviewed for a book about life in London. I bought a copy of the book and gave it to my Grandad for Christmas, telling him he’d find a surprise inside. I probably should have read the entire book first as in fact he found quite a lot of surprises before coming across my chapter. I’m glad the stories he read from a dominatrix and a gay Iraqi illegal immigrant didn’t cause him to have another heart attack. 

Although I did not consider myself much of a writer, the praise (probably gained because I put myself down) went to my head and so for a little while I saw myself as the next Gary Younge. I thought that if I could bang out a blog that got reprinted in a newspaper every month, I could make a significant additional income. I tried to start writing my second blog post, but suffered from DSBS – Difficult Second Blogpost Syndrome (similar to DSAD - Difficult Second Album Syndrome). I attempted to write about a number of things from an ethnic viewpoint. I tried stop and search, racial profiling, sentencing of looters, police reformation, Operation Trident, the new Met Commissioner, death in custody, out of touch politicans etc etc, but each time realised that someone a lot smarter had written about this in a much better way than I ever could, like this for example.

Thought that maybe the key was to write about something from a personal perspective as I had done about the riots, so I decided to write about Stephen Lawrence. I was born only a couple of years after him, and grew up in South East London not too far from his home. My grandparents actually lived in Eltham, so I spent a lot of time in the area, and as a teenager, witnessed a couple of racist attacks on black men in the town centre. But even that didn't work. As with my other attempts, I came up with 1 or 2 interesting points and a good title (I always come up with good titles), but not enough for an article. If I’d known Stephen or even some of the thugs that killed him, maybe I could have written an interesting article, but my personal perspective wasn't unique enough to be fascinating. I came to the realisation that I'm not smart enough to do highbrow. Instead of taking on mainstream topics that 'grown up' writers are tackling, I realised the only way I could create a semi-interesting blog would be to deal with the things in life that only I experience, that nobody else could, or would, write about.

It was suggested that I write about my dating life. I’ve been single for a while and anytime I catch up with a friend, invariably one of the first questions is about my love life, they seem to live vicariously through me. I gave this a lot of thought and couldn’t deny that it would make a good read, I've got some good stories. However, although I write this semi-anonymously, a few too many people know who Motown is and I was/am scared that word could get back to my dates. What if the next ex-Mrs Motown were to be told or worse still come across what I originally said of her?!?! Earlier this year, I got introduced to a girl and we exchanged numbers and chatted for a few weeks. I noticed that she was on twitter (yeah, I’m a bit of a stalker) and was interested to find that she would tweet quite regularly, often mentioning me and things that I said. We ended up going on a date and being the nosey mofo that I am, I kept going to the toilet to give her the chance to tweet, and to give me the chance to read it. Even though we had fun and she was hot (former Abercrombie and Fitch model), twitter showed me that she was just too batshit crazy for a relationship and so I didn't bother to see her again. Although in hindsight, I regret not sleeping with her, would have been interesting to read an honest performance review. Hmmm, I wonder if I still have her number…

Anyway, my latest plan is to waffle on about the weird and wonderful things that pop into my mind rather than stuff that is in the news and of any importance. This blog will never make it into The Guardian again, but that’s ok, been there, done that! I’ll probably only write occasionally, as I'm not a quick writer (you’ll have noticed that I don’t believe in saying something in 10 words when it could be said in 1000). I only write when I have a burning desire to get something off my chest (and I probably won't post those up here) or more likely when I’m away on business and bored in a corporate hotel. In fact, I’m actually travelling home to London on the Eurostar as I type this. The comedian Matt Lucas is sitting opposite me wearing a B.A. Baracus t-shirt. I probably should take a pic and upload it, but I like to think I’m too cool for that (I cringed as a businessman in his 40’s came over to take a photo). But if you ever get to read this Matt, then I was the brown guy with the 10 year old laptop, who wasn't smelling too fresh (I’d come from making a presentation to 30 CEO’s and this combined with my excessive jumper-shirt-blazer combo caused me to sweat a little - sorry).

I'm now on another business trip and about to write about a curious KFC advert that's been bugging me, when I realised that I forgot to post this DSBS a few weeks back. So, hear it is. If you find yourself reading this, do let me know how you ended up here and what you think, as it’ll probably encourage me to write more (or less if you’re unkind). Back with my thoughts on the Colonel soon.